If you’ve been to Rawhide Ranch lately, you know equestrian vaulting, or gymnastics on horseback, is one of our ranch hands’ favorite events! If you love gymnastics, you’ll love performing moves like handstands and backbends on a moving horse. New vaulters learn riding techniques on stationary barrels in the Vaulting Arena, before moving to the Horse Palace to practice on real horses. Ranch hands love to flaunt their skills in the weekly show!
For our hardest-working vaulters, Rawhide Ranch offers two graduate levels: B-Team and A-Team. To join the B-Team, vaulters must efficiently demonstrate moves practiced during the week. As a reward, B-teamers may participate in a special vaulting class and perform new moves in the weekly horse show. B-Team vaulters wishing to promote to the A-Team must receive three third, second, first, or grand places in the weekly horse show. They must also be able to perform simple vaulting moves without a spotter. A-teamers earn special privileges, such as using the side window at the Sweet Shop, eating dinner in the saloon, and participating in two show events.
If vaulting sounds like your thing, take a look at these exciting moves!
This move, called “the flag,” is one of six compulsory exercises in competitive horse vaulting and one of the exercises vaulters will learn here at the ranch. To perform the flag, the vaulter starts on her knees and extends her right leg straight out behind her, parallel to the horse’s back. She then stretches her left arm with the palm down and the fingers together.